Sun allergy, also known as polymorphic light eruption (PMLE), is a condition that causes the skin to become itchy and red after exposure to sunlight. This topic became relevant due to my mother's skincare routine.
PMLE typically affects individuals who have fair skin and are sensitive to sunlight. It occurs when the immune system reacts abnormally to sunlight and triggers a rash. Symptoms usually appear within a few hours to a couple of days after sun exposure and can include redness, itching, swelling, and small bumps on the skin.
The exact cause of sun allergy is unknown, but several factors can contribute to its development. Genetic factors, along with a history of sunburns and certain medication use, can increase the likelihood of experiencing this condition. Additionally, hormonal changes, such as those occurring in women during pregnancy, can make them more susceptible.
To prevent sun allergy, it is important to take proper precautions. Using broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF), wearing protective clothing, and seeking shade during peak sun hours are effective strategies. Gradually increasing sun exposure can also help to build tolerance.
If someone experiences symptoms of sun allergy, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment. Mild cases may be managed with over-the-counter antihistamines and topical corticosteroids, while severe cases may require prescription medications.
In conclusion, sun allergy, or PMLE, is a condition that causes the skin to react to sunlight. Understanding the causes, prevention methods, and available treatments is crucial for individuals who are prone to this condition, or for those interested in skincare routines.